Dazzling Data: How to Track a Click from your YouTube Video Description to your Website Using Analytics

June 23, 2014
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Having a link from your YouTube video description to a landing page on your site is one of the most effective ways to funnel targeted traffic to your website. But it’s not just enough to just pop a link in there and hope for the best. You should also be carefully tracking the referrals to make sure you’re making the most from those watching your videos.
Google Analytics makes it possible to track every single click from your YouTube video description – and it’s completely free. Here’s how you can set the entire system up – it only takes four easy steps and you’re ready to go.
Step 1: Create Tracking URL Through Analytics URL Builder
The process starts with the assumption that you already have a page on your website that you want to track referral traffic to– this can be a specific sales page, your contact form, or a blog entry that relates to the video you’ve uploaded.  Make sure it’s laser-focused on the traffic you’re likely to get from your video.
What you then want to do is add a few extra pieces of info through the URL you’re using so that Analytics is able to give you unique and valuable campaign information. This is called ‘URL tagging’ and if you’ve never done it before, don’t despair – Google has a handy URL Builder Tool that guides you through the entire process.
The campaign parameters with the builder can be best understood as follows:

  •      Campaign Source: The visitors come from somewhere, right? Enter the name of the resource in this box – in this case, it’s YouTube.
  •      Campaign Medium: This is the type of referral, which can include organic search results, paid ads, referrals, or emails.
  •      Campaign Name: This is a unique name to give your campaign. Make it something that is easy to distinguish, especially if you’re creating several.
  •      Leave the other fields blank for this campaign.

Once you click the submit button, you’ll be given a unique URL that you can use to insert in your YouTube description. This is a sample submission just to give you an idea of what to fill in.
Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 10.32.51 pm
Step 2: Use a URL Shortener and Make It Keyword-Friendly
You’ll notice that the URL churned out by Analytics is a tad long – not exactly friendly for the user, is it? That’s why we’re going to use a third-party service to make it look a little cleaner and keyword-friendly. In this case, we’re going to use bit.ly. It’s a free service and we think it’s the best one out of the lot – however, you can choose any shortener you prefer.
You’ll need to sign up to the service first and then supply the URL given to you by Analytics. You’ll then get a wee pop-up that gives you several options and allows you to optimise the URL. We suggest using a keyword that either matches the keyword you are targeting or at least something that’s closely relevant. Have a look at our sample:
Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 10.33.04 pm
Step 3: Paste the URL into the Description of the Video
You’re almost there! Now it’s time to head back over to YouTube with your shortened URL from bit.ly. Insert the URL near the top of your description to ensure it’s one of the first things users see.
We usually add our link at the very top, but as long as it’s in the first couple of lines you’re good to go. This is how we’ve done it:
Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 10.33.18 pm
Step 4: Track It Through Analytics
Your data is now being tracked, so no worries there. To have an in-depth look at how many people are landing on your website through your YouTube video, head on over to the Acquisition > Campaigns report section.
And that’s it. You’re now a bonafide data tracker. Now use this newfound knowledge to optimise your video descriptions and keep track of whos actually visiting your site through your videos.

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